May 1, 2018. Mark the date on your calendar! My new novel, THE GNOSTIC LIBRARY, is coming out that day, and it is a doozy! I wrote this one in 2016, finishing it right after I returned from my trip to Israel. That summer I read through it again, made my finishing touches, and sent it off to my publisher. After I signed my contract, I went on to work on other projects and hadn't really thought about the story that much since then.
But as the publication date looms closer, and I begin to get ready to work on cover art, I decided to pull out the story and read it again, for the first time in nearly two years. I read the whole thing in two days. This is going to sound incredibly vain when I say it, but I am going to say it anyway:
Simply put, I think this may be the best thing I have ever written. Fast paced, dynamic, and packing a powerful emotional punch, this story grabs you quick and never lets go. Set in the Black Desert of Egypt, THE GNOSTIC LIBRARY is the story of a remarkable discovery: an ancient library, buried in the dunes, exposed by a sandstorm in Egypt, and found by a Bedouin shepherd not long after the fall of the Morsi government. Anxious for some positive coverage in the world press after a long season of violence and anarchy, the new Egyptian government hires two foreign archeologists to excavate the site and curate the hundreds of ancient scrolls it contains. But a group of radical jihadists, on the run from the Egyptian army, are hiding in the hills on the edge of the Black Desert - and they don't appreciate having an archeological excavation led by infidels on their doorstep! Terrorism, mayhem, and hostage drama ensue as the members of the Capri Team race from the other side of the world to help rescue their friend and colleague, Vatican archeologist Father Duncan MacDonald.
Here are a few things you need to know about THE GNOSTIC LIBRARY before it comes out:
First, this is the third volume in a trilogy that began with THE TESTIMONIUM and continued in MATTHEW'S AUTOGRAPH. Each story features the same cast of characters, a group of archeologists specializing in the Roman Empire/Early Christian era. The first story was set on the Isle of Capri in Italy; the second took place in Israel's Negev Desert. The trilogy covers roughly a six year time period, following the team on their three separate adventures.
Second, each of the Capri Team books is a stand-alone story. You don't have to read the first two to understand the last one, although the latter two books contain some spoilers for their predecessors. But you can certainly purchase and enjoy THE GNOSTIC LIBRARY without having read THE TESTIMONIUM or MATTHEW'S AUTOGRAPH. However, you will get a fuller picture of these characters and their personalities by reading the stories in order. Read one or all - flip a coin, take your choice!
Third, yes, these are Christian stories - by which I mean, they are written from a Christian perspective, and most (though certainly not all) of the main characters are Christians. That being said, however, my first and foremost goal with each of them was to write a good story. Message and morals don't do a bit of good if you write a dry, boring, or preachy novel that no one wants to read. My goal in this series was to create fun, fast-paced adventure stories, gritty enough to be real but clean enough that I am not embarrassed for my Mom to read them! If people pick up on and want to know more about the Christian themes I have woven into the story, that's fine. If they want to simply enjoy a compelling adventure, that's fine too. Writing something fun and readable and sharing a spiritual message at the same time are not mutually exclusive goals.
Fourth - This newest book matters a great deal for me personally. I have been writing novels since 2012, and this is my fifth published book. I have enjoyed being a published novelist, and I want to go on writing. However, I'll be honest, my stories have not sold as well as I would like. I get great reviews from the people that do read them, but not enough people are reading them! I'm going to pull all the stops out this time in terms of promotion and personal appearances, but I REALLY need people to buy this book. I promise, it is worth your money and time.
Last of all - THANKS to all of you who have read my books and reviewed them, recommended them to friends, or just enjoyed them. You are the ones who make this worth doing, and I hope my latest tale of faith, archeology, romance, and terrorism will be a fun reading experience for you.
Now, if you would like to read the first two Capri Team adventures before diving into this latest one, here are the links for THE TESTIMONIUM and MATTHEW'S AUTOGRAPH. Give them a read, but hurry! May 1 is just around the corner.